Hell to Pay: Chapter 2
Tievel went to the Rabbi. “Where does evil come from?” He asked. “Evil comes from humans. All humans commit sins, even from a young age, sometimes without even knowing it. However, God knows that no man is perfect, and their sins can be forgiven. Their sins and evil will be eventually separated from the goody by the passage into Gehennom.”
Evil. Teivel suddenly felt it within him. He felt the evil of those around him. However, if humans were also part good, that means that both parts were weaker than a pure embodiment of such a force.
The answer came to him in a mural within the synagogue. A war between angels and demons. The forces of good versus the forces of good and evil. If he wanted to be able to call upon such force, a pure spirit of the force had to be summoned.
Before any more insight could be gained, Teivel’s parents pulled him out of his studies. They were being forced out of their homes. The officers showed up one day, dressed in neatly pressed wool uniforms, with dazzling silver hardware and long finely polished boots. From door to door they went around, giving everyone notices to relocate in a new borough of the city Teibel had never heard of. From behind his parents he locked eyes with one blonde man who gave him a stern, unblinking look.
As his parents dragged him away from their domicile, inexplicably leaving behind many of their possessions, Teivel mourned the loss of the many pages of notes and drawings he had left behind. The camp outside of town, he discovered, was no better than a slum. Flying above it was a flag he had never seen, a black cloth with a bent cross on it. Many officers in similar uniforms seemed to be on patrol.
Shoved into a tent with his parents and all their belongings, Teivel started to feel himself go stir crazy. Against his parent’s wishes he exited the tent and went to explore what he could of the camp and the people in it. He came across a guard pushing around an old man, yelling at him for being drunk. “Stop it, stop it, you evil man!” he shouted at the officer.
The guard pulled his attention away from the old man, who was now bleeding on the ground. “Yes, so what. We’re all evil, we’re all going to hell.” He spat at Teivel, and trotted away into the twilight. Teivel went to help the man up, rubbing blood off on himself from a gash on the man’s cheek. The crimson liquid was still warm, it still contained a tiny trace of the man’s life force.
The same red liquid was drawn very soon after from Teivel. The guards around the camp started marking them with a needle and some ink, imbedding numbers into their skin. Teivel clenched onto his mother’s hand as he was jabbed over and over. They were also given patches for them to wear on their clothing. The Star of David. Teivel had learned to come to respect it, but this particular token left him with a bitter taste.
As his parents slept one night, he stayed up, picking at the scab that covered his fresh tattoo, 666. This label was a fake. It was a symbol of oppression, not enlightenment. Taking out his pocketknife, he slowly swung out the blade. It was tarnished and dirty. He scrubbed it on the rough fabric of his pants, then ran it across his arm, just to test. A few of his arm hairs came with it.
The scabbed flesh started to bleed. He prodded at the patch of skin, eventually digging it into the flesh with the dull point of his knife. He winced, but it felt liberating. He started digging deeper, creating lines from point to point. The light of the lantern outside his tent started to die, but the light of the early morning crept up on him. By the time the people of the camp started to stir, he had carved a proper star of David over the black ink. Blood leaked out of the wounds, winding down his arm and soaking into his cuff that had been pushed up past his elbows. His parents awoke to find him in such a state, knife still in hand. Without questioning his motives, they wrapped the wound the best they could, but the damage had been done.
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